CATEGORIES Documentary, Foreign Language, Independent, Music & Musicals, Other Festivals, Religious, Cinematical Indie, CinematicalWith plans to screen 100 documentaries in just six days, SilverDocs 2007 gets under way Tuesday, June 12 with Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, directed by Jim Brown (no, not that one; this one), which promises to interweave folk music, social upheaval and Seeger's life and music. Among the six films competing for the Music Documentary Award will be Hip Hop Revolution (history of hip hop in South Africa), Kurt Cobain About a Son (the late musician narrating his own journey) and Nomadak Tx (from Spain, about two musicians and a "magical instrument"). The Beyond Belief program explores "faith, fanaticism, spirituality and ethics in civil society," according to the press notes, and includes the world premieres of Living Goddess (a young girl worshipped as the incarnation of a Hindu goddess lives peacefully in traumatic times) and Orthodox Stance (love that title: a young immigrant in New York City must balance his Hasidic beliefs with his rising career as a boxer).
Politically-charged movies are certainly on the agenda. Just three higher-profile titles that caught my eye: 14 Women (Mary Lambert examines the lives of female US Senators), Lake of Fire (Tony Kaye on abortion; the press notes say it's "carefully balanced," but this is Tony Kaye, whose insane career Erik just wrote about) and State Legislature (Frederick Wiseman spends 217 minutes on "the inner workings of the democratic process," specifically in Idaho). And then there's the latest by Liz Garbus (Coma relates the stories of four victims), Mike Mills (Does Your Soul Have a Cold?, in which Japanese marketers tackle antidepressants), Helvetica (which James reviewed at South by Southwest) and the local premiere of the controversial Nanking (which Kim reviewed at Sundance). Artic Tale is the closing night presentation. My head is swimming with the possibilities. Even if you aren't planning to attend, the film guide is well worth checking out to see the wide range of material that's screening this week in and around Silver Spring, Maryland.